Facebook acquired face swapping app Masquerade last week and it really felt like it could be a case of third times a charm for the social media giant as they try to catch up to Snapchat.
Facebook is still the number 1 player when it comes to a social platform however competitors are catching up fast. Mark Zuckerberg knows that Facebook is not going to be around as the number 1 forever and we know that teenagers at the moment are more inclined to spend time on Instagram and Snapchat.
That is why Facebook has had somewhat of a ruthless approach when it comes to buying companies. They have snapped up the likes of WhatsApp, Instagram and several others because Zuckerberg knows that he has to have the “next big thing.”
However, Facebook have tried and failed twice to buy Snapchat however CEO Evan Spiegel turned them down twice. Facebook then tried creating their own competitor apps, they released an app called Poke in 2012 which allowed users to send and receive destructive photos and videos to each other. They killed the app off a year later and tried again with Slingshot which was pretty much a clone of Snapchat and was built under the direct supervision of Mark Zuckerberg. Slingshot crashed and burned like Poke and it was pulled in December.
Facebook says that they will be keeping Masquerade as a standalone app however they will also be incorporating lens effects from Masquerade into its own products as they focus on their video based features, an area where they are focusing on a lot.
Snapchat now has nearly the same amount of daily video viewers as Facebook has with a lot less users than Facebook. Snapchat users are consuming content at a massive rate which is why the service is becoming so appealing. Despite the fact that they are in the early stages of monetization, marketers and advertisers know that they big right hook from Snapchat at the moment is that the content is being 100% consumed and has a high rate of engagement.
Facebook should be paying attention to Snapchat as they are looking a lot bigger than they did this time last year. Snapchat has also managed to poach a top Facebook ad exec, Sriram Krishnan who founded the Facebook Audience Network that put Facebook ads on non-Facebook apps and mobile websites has recently left to join Snapchat.